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Rachel Gurevich

Can't Get Pregnant? Resolve to Take Action

By January 11, 2012

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Woman seeing her doctor.

If you can't get pregnant, and it's been at least six months (if you're over 35) or over a year (if you're younger than 35), then it's time to see the doctor. It sounds so simple - a clear recommendation, given by just about all fertility doctors. And yet, many people intentionally ignore it.

Denial's not just a river in Egypt, and some of us are or have come close to drowning in it.

In a multi-page article on breaking bad habits to improve fertility, I mention procrastination as a bad fertility habit. Procrastinating on getting help may make a big difference between having a chance at successful treatment or not.

Age matters, and some fertility issues worsen with time, no matter what age you are. Procrastinating on finding help is a bigger deal after 35, but it may also be a problem for those younger than 35.

I think a lot of people get hung up on all the What Ifs...

What if I can't afford the treatment?

What if I don't want to pursue treatment in the end?

What if there really is something wrong with me? Will my partner stop loving me or leave me?

What if the doctor says there is nothing they can do?

What if I lose hope?

Yes, there are many What Ifs you can come up with, but for right now, try to tell those What Ifs to hush long enough for you to call the doctor and make an appointment. Or, try talking back to your What Ifs...

What if I can't afford the treatment?

You might not be able to afford treatment, but the great majority of couples can be treated with lower cost treatments. IVF, the most expensive, is needed less than 15% of the time.

What if I don't want to pursue treatment in the end?

Then you won't. You can always choose not to pursue treatment. But since infertility can be a symptom of something more serious, and treatment can at times be very simple, see a doctor anyway.

What if there really is something wrong with me? Will my partner stop loving me or leave me?

There may be something wrong with your fertility, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you as a person. You will still be you after diagnosis. If your partner stops loving you because of infertility, you have bigger problems than infertility. If you ask him or her, you may be surprised to learn they have the same fears. They may also reassure your fears.

What if the doctor says there is nothing they can do?

Unlikely, but they may. But then you can begin the grieving process, begin to look into other options like adoption or living childfree, and slowly, get on with your life.

What if I lose hope? Doesn't seeing the doctor mean I've already given up?

Seeing a doctor isn't giving up - it's taking active steps to help yourself. Treatment isn't the end of hope, it is the beginning.

Did you struggle with getting help? How long did you take before seeing a doctor? Or are you struggling with that question right now? Feel free to leave a comment with your experience!

More on getting help when you can't get pregnant:

Photo (c) Keith Brofsky / Getty Images

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